Kraft Heinz has invested in US-based cashier-less technology start-up Zippin via the ketchup giant’s venture-capital fund Evolv Ventures.
California-based Zippin, which employs computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), and sensor-fusion technology to provide checkout-free services for retailers, has secured US$12m in funding, led by Evolv Ventures.
“For leading global CPG [consumer packaged goods] companies like Kraft Heinz, the emergence of this new retail paradigm presents an opportunity to get closer to the end consumer, provide a superior shopping experience, and build a better, data-driven understanding of shopper behaviours and preferences,” according to Kraft Heinz, which launched Evolv Ventures last year.
Smriti Jayaraman, the principal at Evolv Ventures, added in a statement: “We’re excited to join Zippin’s journey as these new formats become critical to the transition currently underway in retail. Zippin’s technology also offers CPG brands, which have previously been at arm’s length from the point of sale, a unique set of opportunities to participate in the customer journey.”
Other investors in the series A round include Mexican food and beverage company Arca Continental, Nomura Research Institute, software business SAP.iO, start-up investment platform Scrum Ventures, and NTT Docomo Ventures from Japan. Existing investors Maven Ventures, Core Ventures Group, Pear Ventures and Montage Ventures also participated.
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The latest funding brings Zippin’s total investment since its launch in 2015 to $15m.
Evolv Ventures made its investment debut in April this year with GrubMarket, a San Francisco-based food-to-table delivery service. It has also channelled funds into New Culture, which produces what it calls “animal-free” dairy products, and cannabis tech firm Flowhub.